This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: Avoid cryptic language. Try to keep your use of abbreviations down when talking with human beings.|
WTF? OMG! TMD TLA. ARG!
- – or –
What The Fuck? Oh My God! Too Many Damned Three-Letter Acronyms. ARRRGGGHHH!!!!
WHEN WP:EDIANS CITE WP:PAGES in the WP:PRJ WP:NS, they often WP:REF WP:CUTS LIKE "WP:BEANS", "WP:BALLS", and "WP:BRD". While these MOS:ABBRs are WP:GREAT for WP:RDRing to a particular page you USE often, it's probably a WP:BAD idea to make a WP:POINT of using these TLAs in daily WP:TALK, lest your DISCUSSion end up as WP:NONSENSE LIKE the WP:TITLE of this page.
When Wikipedians refer to pages in the Wikipedia: namespace, they often use shortcuts like "WP:BEANS", "WP:BALLS", and "WP:NFCC". This jargon is used as a link to a particular, often-used page. Discussions may end up nonsensical (as the title of this page) if the acronyms are used habitually.
Avoid unnecessary use of jargon
Editors use jargon for compact communication, especially when doing hundreds of similar laborious important edits, e.g. vandalism patrol. Jargon directly excludes people, even when used with the best of intentions. It can take a conscious effort to avoid it. Don't Bite The Newbies.
If you use abbreviations all the time, you risk forgetting what the expansion actually is, and might say something you don't actually mean:
- e.g., you refer to WP:FORK, meaning the short version of WP:CONTENTFORK – but it links to WP:Mirrors and forks.
Avoid projecting elitism
Newer editors will often encounter the first heavy use of these abbreviations in the talk pages of articles, Articles for Deletion discussions, or other administrative areas of Wikipedia. To keep the community open and inviting to newcomers, editors should avoid the use of cryptic language and acronyms, as it projects a sense of elitism that is likely to alienate newer editors.
For example, when indicating the reasons that an article should be deleted, the following may be considered hostile to newer members:
Instead of listing an alphabet soup of codes, the following use of wikipedia's "piped linking" technique improves the clarity of the above sentence:
Nominated for deletion as original research and for lack of notability; in addition, it does not appear to be possible to verify the accuracy of the sources, as the article contains only references that are contained in unpublished manuscripts.
It is longer, but far more understandable, and contains a little context that allows someone to understand particular reasons why a policy might apply. While it may be obvious to you why a given policy applies, it may not be to others – even very experienced editors!
Moral of the story
Always use a proper name for a Wikipedia namespace page when discussing it. If you find that you are getting sore wrists and fingers from all the typing, try to simplify or summarise the pages you are referring to, so that in future you only need to refer to a single link.
This is an encyclopedia, not text messaging.
- Wikipedia:Edit summary legend, a translation of common abbreviations used in edit summaries
- Wikipedia:Shortcut index
- Wikipedia:Wikipedia abbreviations
- Wikipedia:What does "per" mean?
- Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines
- Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals) – Clarifying WP: shortcuts and Wikipedia: page titles
- Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab) – A policies and guidelines namespace
- Wikipedia:Don't cite essays or proposals as if they were policy
- Wikipedia:Misused Policies and Guidelines